GORHAM, Maine—Led by a terrific performance from their seniors, #2 UMass Boston knocked off #3 Rhode Island College 6-3, to become the only unbeaten team left in the 2019 Little East Conference Tournament.
#2 UMass Boston 6, #3 Rhode Island College 3
(UMass Boston 28-11)
(Rhode Island College 26-15)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Senior starter Fernando Burgos (Hyde Park, Mass.) allowed two runs over seven innings, and four seniors combined for five RBI and four runs scored.
Burgos overcame a slow start, to scatter six hits, two walks and two earned runs over seven innings. He also struck out six batters.
Junior Joey Rogers (Dighton, Mass.) came on for the final two innings to earn his first collegiate save. The starting pitcher retired the Anchormen in order in the eighth, before allowing three-straight hits and a run with two down. He turned it around though, as he induced a flyout to center to close out the win.
Offensively, Eddie Riley (Quincy, Mass.) finished 2-4 with a run scored, two RBI and a solo home run. Josh Lopez (New Haven, Conn.) tacked on two hits, two RBI and two walks and Kyle Boudrias (Medford, Mass.) registered a pair of hits, an RBI and a run scored. Fellow senior Charlie Huegi (Sandy Hook, Conn.) finished with two hits, two runs scored and several huge defensive plays.
Rhode Island College freshman Connor Davey nearly went the distance, as he pitched into the ninth in his first collegiate playoff start. The righty finished with a line of 8.1 innings, seven hits, six runs (five earned) and four walks.
Josh Silva was the lone Anchormen to finish with multiple hits, as the center fielder went 2-4 with a run scored.
Rhode Island College took their only lead of the game in the bottom of the first inning. After Burgos retired the first batter, Rhode Island College recorded three-straight singles, with Tyler Walsh driving in Nate Vigeant on an RBI single. Burgos bounced back by recording a groundout and a fly out to right to leave two runners in scoring position.
UMass Boston tied the game almost immediately. With one out in the top of the second, Riley crushed a pitch over the scoreboard in left field to make it 1-1.
The Beacons took the lead for good in the third. Huegi reached on a one-out single, took second on a passed ball and raced home on Boudrias' two-out RBI single.
Lopez extended the lead to 3-1 in the fifth, when he laced a two-out, RBI single to left that scored Nico Kydes (Stamford, Conn.).
Rhode Island College answered back with a single run of their own in the fifth. Silva led off with a single, stole second and scored on Vigeant's one-out sacrifice fly.
It would stay 3-2 until the top of the eighth inning thanks to a nice play by Huegi. With runners at first and second and two outs, Huegi tracked down a ball deep in the hole and fired across the diamond to barely get Tyler Calabro for the third out.
UMass Boston tacked on a fourth run in the eighth. Lopez led off with a walk, moved to second on a Boudrias single and then took third on an Anthony Cecere (Wakefield, Mass.) sac bunt. After the Huskies intentionally walked Riley to load the bases, Ryan McCormick (Cumberland, R.I.) worked a bases-loaded walk to score Lopez with two outs.
The Beacons extended their lead to 6-2 with two more runs in the ninth. Huegi led off with a double and easily scored on Lopez' second RBI single of the day. With two outs and two runners on, Riley sent a curving, line drive through the middle that plated pinch-runner Ryan McCloud (Plymouth, Mass.) from second base.
Rogers struck out the first two batters of the ninth inning, but then ran into some issues as RIC tried to mount a rally. Calabro singled and Silva followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position. Nate Donovan followed with an RBI single to make it 6-3, but Rogers induced a fly out to end the contest.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston is 2-0 for the second-straight year in the LEC Tournament. The Beacons have gone 2-0 three times in program history in the LEC Tournament and went on to win the LEC Tournament the previous two times (2010 and 2018).
- Burgos moved into second-place in program history in career innings (239.1) and strikeouts (164). He needs just six more innings to pass Nick Conway ('08) for the program record for innings pitched.
- Boudrias tied Mark McCormack ('12) for second-place in program history in career hits (246) with his two hits on Thursday.
- The Beacons are 3-0 this season against Rhode Island College and 33-27 overall. UMass Boston has won 11 of the past 12 meetings between the two schools.
- Burgos improved to 7-0 on the season and 3-1 for his career in LEC Tournament play.
- Herzog is one game shy of tying Sal Frosceno's ('18) program record of 178 career games played.
#2 UMass Boston will have to wait nearly 48 hours to play their next game, as all of the games scheduled for Friday have been postponed due to rain. The Beacons will play the winner of #1 University of Southern Maine and #3 Rhode Island College on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Huskies and Anchormen will play on Saturday at Noon in an elimination game. #4 Eastern Connecticut State University and #5 UMass Dartmouth will play in the second game on Saturday in another elimination game (3:30 p.m.).